Caltech Acceptance Rate | Strategies and Insights for Admission Success 2024 

A renowned backdrop for TV shows and movies featuring brilliant young scientists like “Big Bang Theory,” “Numb3rs,” and “Real Genius,” the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) stands as a beacon for the nation’s most accomplished minds in STEM fields. While it’s often dubbed “MIT-West” due to its comparable academic prowess, Caltech distinguishes itself with a smaller community, serving just under 1,000 undergraduates compared to MIT’s 4,600+. Despite receiving over 16,000 applications annually, the Caltech acceptance rate remains a challenging 2-3%.

Each aspiring Caltech student boasts an impressive transcript, near-perfect standardized test scores, and extraordinary talents beyond the academic realm. However, meeting these criteria proves necessary but not always sufficient, as Caltech faces the daily challenge of turning away even valedictorians throughout the admissions cycle.

What is The Caltech Acceptance Rate?

Caltech has not officially disclosed academic statistics for the Class of 2027, partly due to its current test-blind policy, which means they don’t consider SAT or ACT scores. However, for the Class of 2026, an impressive 96% of students ranked in the top 10% of their high school class. Although average GPA details are not released, it’s reasonable to assume that most Caltech students maintain an unweighted 4.0 or a closely equivalent score, achieved through a rigorous schedule of AP/IB courses.

What is The Admission Insights at The Caltech?

  • Females comprise 44% of the accepted Class of 2026.
  • A majority, 64%, of the admitted Class of 2027 graduated from public schools.
  • International students accepted into Caltech represented 31 countries, including Zimbabwe, Poland, and Jamaica.
  • One-third of the students submitted a portfolio or maker work.
  • Scholar-athletes make up 20% of the admitted students.
  • A significant 45% presented materials related to past research.

What is The Admission Criteria at The Caltech?

In 2020, amid the pandemic, Caltech introduced significant changes to its admissions process:

  1. Elimination of the SAT Subject Test scores requirement.
  2. A two-year moratorium on the requirement and consideration of the SAT/ACT. This moratorium has since been extended to those applying to join the 2022-23 freshman class.

Caltech, known for its holistic approach, further emphasized this during the pandemic. The Dean of Admissions assured applicants that their stories would be carefully considered within the context of available opportunities, showing flexibility and understanding toward extenuating circumstances.

Caltech emphasizes four “very important” factors in the admissions process: the rigor of the high school course load, application essays, recommendations, and character/personal qualities. Additionally, class rank, GPA, and extracurricular involvement are considered “important” by the committee.

What is The Caltech Demographics?

Examining ethnic identity among undergraduates for the 2022-23 academic year reveals the following breakdown (percentages do not add up to 100% as some individuals may belong to more than one category):

  • White: 23%
  • Asian: 35%
  • Hispanic: 22%
  • African American: 3%
  • Two or More Races: 9%

In terms of gender distribution:

  • Men: 55%
  • Women: 45%

The geographical representation of students is as follows:

  • In-state: 35%
  • Out-of-State: 62%
  • International: 8%

Among international students, the majority come from:

  • Canada
  • China
  • India
  • South Korea
  • Colombia

What is The Caltech Yield Rate?

Caltech’s yield rate, which calculates the percentage of accepted students who choose to enroll, stands just above 50%. While this figure is lower than prestigious institutions like Stanford, Harvard, or MIT, it surpasses the rates of universities such as Rice or Carnegie Mellon.

Caltech Application Process Key Tips

If you’re eyeing a spot among the 16,000+ hopefuls for the upcoming Caltech admissions cycle, here’s what you need to keep in mind:

  • Emphasizing it once again – Caltech will maintain a test-blind approach for the Class of 2027 admission cycle.
  • You have the flexibility to choose between the Common Application or the Coalition Application at Caltech. Unlike MIT, there’s no separate application form.
  • “Demonsrated interest” won’t be a factor at Caltech, so activities like campus visits or contacting admissions officers won’t influence your application.
  • Undergraduate interviews aren’t conducted at Caltech, making your essays and teacher recommendations crucial for establishing a personal connection with the admissions team.
  • For international applicants, submitting TOEFL scores and an International Financial Aid Statement of Intent is a requirement.
  • Ensure you allocate ample time and effort to the supplemental essay and short answers, a crucial part of the Caltech application.


Gaining admission to top-tier institutions like West Point, the University of Florida, Penn State, Williams College, and Caltech demands a strategic approach and an understanding of each institution’s unique requirements. The competitive landscape, acceptance rates, and demographics vary widely among these prestigious schools. Applicants should focus on showcasing academic excellence, personal achievements, and a commitment to the values of each institution. Whether pursuing a military education, seeking affordability and quality, navigating a large public university, aiming for the liberal arts experience, or delving into cutting-edge STEM fields, prospective students must tailor their applications to align with the specific expectations and priorities of their chosen institution. Ultimately, the pursuit of higher education involves a blend of academic prowess, character, and thoughtful preparation for the distinctive journey that each university offers.